RHI offers PPV for genre films

World Premiere Movies offers sneak peeks

Judd Nelson, Kevin Sorbo, Marilu Henner and Gary Busey are among the stars featured in an experiment by RHI Entertainment to offer cable subs the chance to watch genre pics via pay-per-view during a 90-day period before they kick off their runs on Sci Fi Channel, Lifetime or Spike TV.

World Premiere Movies is the umbrella title, and customers at Time Warner Cable and Cablevision — and, starting next month, Cox Cable — can gorge themselves on pictures such as “Black Friday,” with Nelson; “Maneater,” with Busey; “The Sitter,” with Gail O’Grady; “Deadly Suspicion,” with Henner; “Something Beneath,” with Sorbo; and “Eye of the Beast,” with James Van Der Beek.

RHI, the company run by Robert Halmi and his son Robert Jr., said cable operators will set the retail price for each movie, which at Time Warner is $3.95 for standard definition and $4.95 for high def. RHI is negotiating with other cable ops to sign up for the package.

The first-year guarantee by RHI is for 24 movies. There will always be six titles in the window, with two movies added each month, displacing two existing ones.

As part of the deal, RHI will make available a group of its older movies in a no-cost on-demand, commercial-free digital service. Recent titles in this window, to be called RHI Showcase, include adaptations of “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Prince & the Pauper” and “Captains Courageous.”

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